Top scientist and entrepreneur to Focus on Cancer Collaboration

Top scientist and entrepreneur to Focus on Cancer Collaboration

Receptors with a role in cancer and endocrine processes. Experience from bench to bedside. Researcher and entrepreneur Joseph P. Schlessinger of Yale university is a master of many trades. And he will share his experience as keynote speaker at the sixth Focus on Cancer Collaboration on 13 March at Medicon Village – a meeting to interact around research and innovation in oncology.

Focus on Cancer Collaboration brings together cancer researchers and entrepreneurs with those working in health care. It is an interactive knowledge sharing meeting offering a mix of lectures and networking, such as the Dialogue Forum – all set up to stir discussions and spur collaborations.

- This is a great opportunity for academics to connect with companies with a knowledge and interest in oncology, but also the endocrine system. It will be an exciting meeting. Schlessinger will give a broad presentation and he will also join two Dialogue Forums*, says Lars Rönnstrand, professor and research team manager at Translational Cancer Research at Lund University, seated at Medicon Village.

The renowned professor, Joseph P. Schlessinger at Yale University, is a pioneer within the field of growth factors. He has published numerous articles on the structures of, in particular, the family of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptors, the mechanisms by which they signal and their signalling pathways.

- I´m looking forward to hearing more about FGF, which is involved in different sorts of physiological systems and cancer. Interestingly, recent findings show a new FGFs with completely different functions – endocrine functions, which may be involved in diabetes related diseases, Lars Rönnstrand points out.

Top contributor to drug discovery

Schlessinger was named one of the top 100 most influential people in drug development and manufacture by the publication The Medicine Maker in 2015. By then he had co-founded several biotech companies, such as SUGEN, Plexxikon and Kolltan Pharmaceuticals. SUGEN, which is now part of Pfizer, was one of the first companies to develop several targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors for cancer treatment. Plexxikon, now part of Daiichi-Sankyo, developed the first BRAF inhibitor for treatment of malignant melanoma. Kolltan Pharmaceuticals develops therapeutic antibodies against receptor tyrosine kinases.

- He is a great representative with experience from in-depth basic research to applied science and founding companies. He founded companies to develop targeted medicines. These medicines turn off the receptors driving specific cancers, so you can treat patients with cancer in a specific way with less side effects, explains Lars Rönnstrand.

About Focus on Cancer Collaboration

Learn more about Focus on Cancer Collaboration HERE. Register by 4th March HERE.

Medicon Village organizes the meeting Focus on Cancer Collaboration together with Lund University Cancer Center (LUCC), LU Innovation, SmiLe Incubator and Medicon Valley Alliance.

*A Dialogue Forum is closed sessions where clinicians, companies and academic researchers have a unique opportunity to discuss specific questions related to commercialization of research findings.
For further information or if you would be interested in participating in this forum, please contact johanna.asklin [at]

By Tanja Jensen, science writer

Medicon Village Innovation AB